Red-tailed Hawk 15 October 2005 at Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, SF Photos © 2005 Joseph Morlan

This morning I took my ornithology class on our annual fall walk around the Chain of Lakes in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. One of the resident Red-tailed hawks swooped down on a rodent and we watched as the hawk devoured it in a nearby tree. Here the bird is resting after its meal. It has lifted one foot up showing its strongly hooked talons.

This species is highly variable. This individual is one of the intermediate morphs with the underparts predominantly rufous. Sometimes it is referred to as the "rufous morph." Birds of this morph are not uncommon in California, but are seldom illustrated in standard field guides.

This is the Western subspecies B. j. calurus.

Olympus D-550z / Nikon FieldScope 3 / Hand-held (no adapter)
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